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ISGM Podcast: The Concert #8 - Mozart: Not Just a Prodigy

Because Mozart wrote and played music so well from such an early age, there is a commonly held view that he always composed with extraordinary ease, that his works were the product of a sort of divine inspiration. But scholars now realize that, while Mozart did write extraordinary music, it was not always so simple for him. In the dedication of Mozart’s string quartets, he calls them the “fruits of a long and laborious endeavor.” Characterized by adventurous chromaticism and intricate fugal textures, the string quartet “Spring” was not a simple thing for Mozart to write. Neither, apparently, were the flute concertos. Mozart’s second flute concerto, commissioned in a set of three concertos (the third was never completed), is actually a re-working of his earlier concerto for oboe. But, the resulting piece was so beautiful, and so perfect for the flute, that no one pointed out that the piece had been cribbed from the oboe concerto until 1952. Though these were perhaps harder pieces for Mozart to write, the time spent perfecting them seems to have paid off; both are now considered masterpieces of the repertoire.

Recorded live in the Tapestry Room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is pleased to share this concert under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License. For details see


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